Let me preface this preview saying that I'm not a huge fighting game fan. While I can appreciate a match or two, I approach the genre completely casually, meaning if I'm ever put up against anyone even potentially good, I'm pretty much screwed. Still, Mortal Kombat was one of my favorite games of 2011, with its fast paced, brutal combat and terrific storyline. Needless to say, I was excited to check out Injustice: Gods Among Us.
Now many of you might be thinking, "Is Injustice just a reskinned Mortal Kombat?" The answer is no. While the fighting is just as fast paced and brutal, a lot has been put into the fighting mechanics to ensure it didn't feel the same.
I played three rounds against the developer, first as Nightwing, second as Harley Quinn and lastly as Wonder Woman. Each one had their iconic set of skills which not only were very satisfying to unleash on my opponent, but looked very flashy. Each character also has a character-specific skill that either executes some sort of move, such as Harley Quinn throwing a random present at the enemy, filled either with an explosion, or a picture of the Joker which acts as a buff, or it changes your character's stance completely. Nightwing put his two sticks together into one long staff, giving him an entirely new moveset, which worked the same for Wonder Woman, as she switched from her very offensive whip, to a more defensive sword and shield.
Equally impressive and extremely cinematic were the super moves for each character. As you take damage and damage your opponent, you build up your super meter, which you can then unleash by pulling on both triggers. And while these can definitely turn the tide of battle, they're not meant to be insta-win and can still be avoided with some careful timing.
Only two levels were available to check out, but let me tell you, the levels themselves are just as part of the battle as the characters. When near certain areas, you're able to press an button to use that environment against your opponent. The great thing is that each character uses it differently. For example, in the Fortress of Solitude, we were next to Superman's space pod, as Flash, my opponent grabbed me and slammed my head repeatedly into it. As Nightwing however, I was able to leap from it across my opponent into safety. Basically the developers wanted to make sure that even when you're stuck in the corner, you have an opportunity to get yourself out.
Of course I had to ask about the story mode. After Mortal Kombat's excellent story mode, I was told they would be crazy not to include a story mode into Injustice. Especially considering the fact that they need to somehow explain why Nightwing is able to beat up Superman for example. Needless to say, if you were among the many who enjoyed Mortal Kombat for its in-depth storyline, you're in for a treat in Injustice.
While there is still a lot of info left to be unveiled regarding the full character list, arena list, as well as full details on the story mode, from what I saw, I can safely say that Injustice is shaping up to be one of the best, if not the best, fighters of 2013.